Vote to reject nuclear and gas by EP committees is disappointing and short sighted – MEP Kelleher

„Today’s vote to object to the inclusion of nuclear and gas in the EU’s Green Taxonomy is incredibly disappointing and short sighted. When it comes before the full parliament in July, I will once again vote to include both in the EU’s energy future,” says Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher.

Kelleher was speaking following a vote at a joint meeting of the ECON and ENVI committees today in the European Parliament where an objection to the Commission’s proposal was adopted by 76 votes to 62.

„The inclusion of nuclear and gas is a no-brainer in my opinion. While its inclusion or non-inclusion does not stop countries investing in these types of facilities, it does make it less attractive for investors. It also reduces opportunities for investment into nuclear research – research that could make it even safer.

„Gas will be an essential component of how eastern European countries move away from coal and oil to renewables. It is a transition fuel and should be treated as such. The Commission’s proposals are quite clear on that matter.

„Europe needs to be honest with itself. 50% of all carbon-free electricity produced in the EU comes from nuclear. It’s an essential part of our move to zero emissions electricity production.

„Those in the left-green bloc in Irish and European politics need to ask themselves what’s more important – being ideological pure or reducing our carbon emissions?

„I’m not advocating for Ireland to start building nuclear power plants, but I am saying we need to stop being hypocrites. We are currently building a transmission cable under the Celtic Sea between Cork and France. Electricity, generated by nuclear, will flow into Ireland and will power our homes, our e-cars and our offices.

„My vote was a vote to be realistic and honest with ourselves. I am hopeful the full parliament will vote to reject this simplistic objection next month so we can get on with doing what is necessary to save our planet – ending our dependence on fossil fuels,” concluded Kelleher.

Source: MEP Billy Kelleher

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